While a cappella is typically a group endeavor amidst a niche, but large community, For Your Own Good focuses on what individuals can do for their own betterment in the realm of a cappella.
Most of us want to be good at what we do, and want recognition for those talents. We want to make it into an a cappella group as an affirmation of our abilities. Then we want to be one of the featured soloists to prove we’re elite amongst a group of talented singers. Then we want to be named music director to affirm our leadership skills, knowledge, and, let’s face it, the fact that people like us.
It’s easy to resent the people who move ahead of us—the person who gets the solo, or who gets appointed to a leadership position. Jealousy is a natural reaction when someone else has something we want.
But wouldn’t it be better to learn from the experience than to get steamed up over it?
Say you’re feeling jealous of another group member’s vocal percussion prowess. Rather than trying to diminish the importance of percussion or tell everyone that member isn’t that good, why not, instead, take that person aside and ask if they wouldn’t mind teaching you some of the tricks of the trade after rehearsal. More often than not, people will be flattered you have shown an interest in their talents and will be more than happy to share.
Similarly, if you’re upset you were passed up for music director, see if the person who was chosen can delegate some of the responsibilities your way—giving you experience with running rehearsal, arranging, booking shows, etc. This background will make you all the more qualified for the job next time, show off your ability to do the work, and lessen the burden on the current director—both a good deed and a step toward earning that person’s support for your ambitions to move up in the organization in the future.